Trainer Gerald Ryan has revealed that the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) is a possible target for talented sprinter Rubick if he can return to his best form during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
A virus restricted Rubick to just two race starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1, but Ryan is already looking ahead to the autumn campaign of the Encosta De Lago colt.
Ryan told Racing Ahead this morning that Rubick would likely return to the races in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick and the three-year-old will then have a chance to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens before he potentially takes on the best sprinters in Australia in the T.J. Smith Stakes on the opening day of The Championships.
“He went out last Wednesday and he will stay out for a month or so before we get him ready for the autumn,” Ryan said.
“At this stage it will be races like the Challenge and The Galaxy and if his form warrants it we will have a crack at the T.J. Smith.”
Rubick started his spring preparation with a strong win over older horses in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11, but he was on the wrong side of the track in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1 and he could finish no better than 12th behind Brazen Beau.
Ryan said the windy conditions at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day made it difficult for horses on the inside of the straight to be competitive and he remains confident that Rubick is capable of recording a win at the highest level of racing.
“It was just one of those races that you have to put a line through,” Ryan said.
“Kerrin said at the 600 metre mark they were equal leaders over there, him and Earthquake, but by the time they got to the 500 metre mark they were three lengths behind and going nowhere.
“I have just put a line through the race.
“He ended up not knocking the horse about, but he has done well after and travelled home here Sunday night and didn’t miss a beat when he was here.”
Rubick has recorded three wins from his five career starts and has accumulated over $300,000 in prizemoney for connections, but is still missing the Group 1 victory that would make him one of the leading stallion prospects in Australia.